In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
In the not-so-far future the polar ice caps have melted and the resulting rise of the ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve them. One of the mecha-producing companies builds David, an artificial kid which is the first to have real feelings, especially a never-ending love for his "mother", Monica. Monica is the woman who adopted him as a substitute for her real son, who remains in cryo-stasis, stricken by an incurable disease. David is living happily with Monica and her husband, but when their real son returns home after a cure is discovered, his life changes dramatically.Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Includes many of the trademarks of Stanley Kubrick. Among these are the narration at the beginning; portrayal of dehumanization and the dark side of human nature; the tracking shots down the length of tall, parallel walls, and "The Glare", with David's head tilted and eyes looking upwards; the scene in the bathroom; the three-way conflict between David, Monica and Martin; an obsessed hero; imaginary worlds; a journey towards freedom and knowledge; the use of classical music in Richard Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier". Perhaps the most direct homage to Kubrick's work is when David is stuffing spinach into his mouth in an attempt to compete with Martin, and Henry yells "stop Dave, please stop!"; the dialogue is taken almost literally from the final scene between HAL and David Bowman in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). See more »
Monica takes David to the forest to abandon him. While she is telling him her plan, the sun is shining brightly on David's head and hair when the camera angle is showing Monica's face. However, whenever David's face is shown, his head is in shadow. See more »
[narrating, with ocean waves crashing together]
Those were the years after the ice caps had melted... because of the greenhouse gases, and the oceans had risen drown so many cities... along all the shorelines of the world. Amsterdam, Venice, New York - Forever lost. Millions of people were displaced. Climates became chaotic. Hundreds of millions of people starved in poorer countries. Elsewhere a high degree of prosperity survived... when most governments in the developed world... ...
See more »
For the U.S. theatrical release, the Warner Bros. logo appeared before the Dreamworks logo at the beginning of the film, and the poster credits said, "Warner Bros. and Dreamworks Pictures present." Since the U.S. version's home video/DVD rights are owned by Dreamworks, the Dreamworks logo at the beginning of the movie appears before the Warner Bros. logo, and the back of the box's cover art says, "Dreamworks Pictures and Warner Bros. present." See more »
At the time of this film's cinema release no less a critic than the much admired and feared HMS Germaine Greer discharged a broadside in its general direction to the effect that it had several perfectly good endings, all of which the director chose to ignore in favour of another. I find myself in agreement.
Though somewhat lacking in focus in a number of important respects, this film has a degree of intelligence and some powerful moments; the film successfully raises questions about the point at which a 'machine' becomes a living thing, since after all, isn't a human being a biological machine? And if machines might be considered 'alive', can we deceive ourselves into believing that a non-conformity to 'normal' human behaviour makes the faux-human androids any less alive than us? It's an interesting question.
Another interesting question is 'What On Earth Possessed Steven Spielberg???"
I gather that some very old dramatists in some foreign country or other had this thing called a Deus Ex Machina, probably familiar to keen viewers of Star Trek; when a storyline had reached an unsatisfactory and unresolvable point, the playwright would simply write in a divine intervention that would make everything alright again, in direct contravention of dramatic progression... logic... decency... all that stuff.
Well, Spielberg seems to have been taking notes from his ancestors, for when this film reaches a very sad but dramatically very sound ending, and you get that familiar pang of 'oh, please don't let it end here', Spielberg does the worst possible thing he could - and listens to that silent cry of the sentimental heart.
Indeed, Spielberg's Deus Ex Machina is startlingly literal when it appears, but I'll leave you to enjoy that discovery in your own time.
I find it extraordinary that a man of Spielberg's ability could go to such grim lengths to crowbar in the sweetly toxic ending he finally, unconvincingly does. It is this single decision which ruins the film, tainting this interesting if not especially distinguished effort with an artless, child-pleasing finale. This is made all the worse by the fact that it takes a good 20-30 minutes to import this unwelcome and out-of-place conclusion. I do not wildly exxaggerate when I say that I spent much of this time with my head in my hands, ridden with despair at the stupidity unfolding before me.
Nice film, shame about the Ending. It's right up there with Stephen King's 'IT' on the "WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN???" factor.
You are warned.
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